Watching Jodi Whittaker unveiled as the 13th Doctor at a special showing of the 11th season of Doctor Who was a joyous experience. The audience of 5,000 at the Hulu Theater in New York was enthusiastic, vocal, and, overall, thrilled with the new direction.
The screening was part of a special event at New York Comic Con that also features a question and answer session with Whittaker, showrunner Chris Chibnail, and executive producer Matt Strevens.
The UK and America received the same premiere time at approximately the same time it was shown in the Hulu Theater.
I can’t speak for those watching at home but, judging by the reaction of the audience in the Hulu Theater, including my own, this is a home run.
So, without spoiling anything but a minor food thing, here’s what you need to know about the 13th Doctor before watching:
1. Whittaker is terrific. She’s fun, she’s smart, she’s refreshingly free of angst, and she’s a joy to watch.
2. Her entrance in the premier is possibly the most surprising and best that I’ve ever seen as the first time we glimpse a new Doctor. The audience audibly gasped.
3. Yes, those clothes. The new Who costume fits well into the episode and, most of all, as Jodie Whittaker said, IT HAS POCKETS. She repeated this several times so, those who wish women’s clothes contained pockets, she is one of us.
4. Fried Egg Sandwiches. That’s gonna be a thing.
5. Finally, a comment from Whittaker that stuck with me.
Asked if she hoped her role as the Doctor would be an inspiration, Whittaker said: “I want it to be forgotten because this [roles like this for women] have become the norm.”
Doctor Who, season 11, premieres tonight on BBC American at 8 p.m.